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Another way of working out your colours is to keep within the same range, not too diverse from one another. In these pictures we look at colours where there is no great contrast of colour, which produces a rather more subdued effect - one that helps the different colours to harmonize with each other. This effect can give you a rather attractive, low-key picture.

In this example, based on a portrait by James McNeill Whistler, I first flicked in the whole of the figure with a small brush and then, with a large brush, I washed in the entire background in the same colour. When all that had dried, I put in the other colour areas, being careful to avoid too much contrast.

These two figures are done in coloured pencil and, although I've used slightly different techniques in executing them, they are both quite unemphatic in terms of colour tones. The first is drawn in more carefully, using the outlined areas and just filling them with a single tone of colour. The second figure is rather more loosely drawn, and I've thrown on the colour as strongly as I could.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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